Lesson Helps

FHE: Role of the Priesthood

Conference Talk:
For more information on this topic read “Brethren, We Have Work to Do,” by Elder D. Todd Christofferson, Ensign, Nov. 2012, 47.

As men of the priesthood, we have an essential role to play in society, at home, and in the Church (Elder D. Todd Christofferson, “Brethren, We Have Work to Do,” Ensign, Nov. 2012, 47).

“Rise Up, O Men of God,” Hymns, #324.

But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses (1 Timothy 6:11–12).

Give each family member a pencil and a sheet of paper. Have them fold the paper in half, label the left side characteristics of high priests,” and label the right side “Characteristics of those who reject the Spirit of God.” Ask your family to read Alma 13:3–13 and list all the characteristics they can find under the appropriate title. Have older children help younger ones. When they are finished, discuss the following:

  • What are the characteristics of faithful high priests?
  • What are the characteristics of those who reject the Spirit of God?
  • What can we do to be more like faithful high priests?
  • What does it mean to “look upon sin . . . with abhorrence”? (Verse 12.)
  • Can you share an experience when you successfully did so?
  • What do you think it means to enter into the Savior’s “rest”? (Verse 13; see also D&C 84:23–24.)

This would be a good time to discuss appropriate topics in For the Strength of Youth pamphlet (such as dress, media, music, language, and so on) (Dennis H. Leavitt and Richard O. Christensen, Scripture Study for Latter-day Saint Family: The Book of Mormon, [Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2003], p. 174).

Marion D. Hanks told the following story:
I heard a noble mother speak once in a stake conference in response to an invitation. I’ll never forget her. She and her husband and 12-year-old son lived on a ranch 14 miles away from the place where they worshiped every Sunday. Saturday night the telephone rang, and the 12-year-old came to his mother with the news that it was Bruce Brown, who was asking if he could go with Bruce and another friend and their fathers on a hunting and shooting trip the next morning. He wanted to know what he should tell Bruce.

The mother, as she stood at the pulpit fighting a problem of a lump in the throat, said, “My first impulse was to respond: ‘Of course you can’t go. Tomorrow is the Sabbath; tomorrow morning is priesthood meeting and Sunday School, and you have obligations.’ But I didn’t say that.” She said she was also tempted to say, “You wait till your father comes in and ask him. He’ll have an answer for you.” But she didn’t say that, either.

Somehow, she found the wisdom and restraint and faith to say: “Son, you’re 12 years old. You hold the priesthood of God. You can make up your own mind about that.”

He turned away without another word; she went with a prayer in her heart—a prayer with which mothers and fathers, I testify, are familiar: “Lord, Lord, please”—to her own room and knelt down and talked with the Lord. Nothing more was said about the incident.

Father came in; the three of them had their family prayer, went to bed, awakened early the next morning, and prepared for and then went in to priesthood meeting and Sunday School. They parked their pickup truck across the street in a parking lot and were crossing toward the chapel when a truck drove by with guns slung in the window, snowmobiles in the back, and two boys and two laughing men in the front.

The lady at the pulpit then had her hardest moment. She said, “I had hold of the hands of my two men, and as the truck passed the one on the right said, almost inaudibly, ‘Gee, I wish . . .’ and my heart clutched a moment; then he finished: ‘Gee, I wish I could have convinced Bruce that he and Bob ought to be in priesthood meeting this morning.’”

“The mother, telling the story, thanks the Lord for this choice lad and his personal decision to do the right thing. And then she weeps freely as she explains how important that was to all of them. You see, their son was killed in a farm accident that week” (“Changing Channels” general conference October 1990).


Give each person a copy of these scrambled word and a paper. Have them decipher what the words really are. Explain that each of these words describes one of the roles of priesthood bearers.


Answers: bless, missionary, preside, provide, rescue, protect, teach, courageous, strong, sacrament, ordinances.Get the PDF version of "FHE: Priesthood Role."

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